Danish pastry and regexp.
This weekend, I took my first ever class at King Arthur Flour. You may notice a distinctly pastry-oriented slant to this week’s TWIL.
- Adding salt to an egg wash helps break down the albumen, making it less gloppy.
- High-fat butter (83% or higher) is the best for making laminated dough: it’s more pliable and less likely to fracture/tear the dough.
- You can make Danish/croissants/puff pastry with shortening, but you’ll get a less crispy, less caramelized, less flaky, more tender result because you’re using 100% fat, which doesn’t have the water content necessary to create steam and puff up during baking. Also, shortening lacks the necessary milk proteins to brown.
- How to upgrade OpenSSL on a Mac, which isn’t strictly necessary for security reasons, but is helpful to avoid warnings from other open source tools (like Composer).
- I wrote my first piece of code in PHP using regex (to extract a bunch of words from HTML lists). I also wrote another, better piece of code to do the same thing using the PHP DOM, which I am so glad I now know is a thing. Along the way, I stumbled across this, which I will leave there to remind myself never to try to parse HTML with regex again.
Things I learned this week.
Last week I stumbled across a post by Diana Kimball on Medium, encouraging readers to “Write About What You’ve Learned Lately.” It was good timing—I’m taking two web development classes this semester and TA-ing for a third, so I’m happily up to my ears in learning about some of my favorite things. In the spirit of, as Diana writes, “celebrat[ing] the process of learning itself, implicitly inviting others to do the same,” here’s my first edition of This Week I Learned (TWIL):
- Soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, and sriracha make a pretty good salad dressing, especially if you’re searching for something to go with leftover baked tofu, mixed greens, shredded carrot, and slivered red onion.
- The countifs function in Google sheets or Excel will let you count the cells in a range that match a certain criterion—and here’s the cool part—if a cell in another range matches a different criterion. Magic.
- Giant rabbits are real, and can weigh over 20 pounds.
- Number() handles Booleans appropriately; parseInt() returns NaN
- parseInt() returns the first number if multiple numbers are separated by spaces; Number() returns NaN
- parseInt() can take a second parameter specifying the radix (base: i.e., 16 for hexadecimal or 8 for octal). Number() can’t take a second parameter, but automatically assumes:
- hexadecimal for numbers starting with 0x
- octal for numbers starting with 0 (note: as of ECMAScript 5, parseInt() *should* interpret these automatically as decimal, rather than octal, if not given a radix parameter, but browsers haven’t caught up yet, so you should always specify a radix when using parseInt())
- How to use scope to associate table headers with data